Thank you to all who visited us at the Restaurants Canada Show last week. We loved getting to meet with so many of you in person rather than our usual conservations over the phone or email. Thank you!
And continuing with the Pasquale’s Brothers story… My great-grandmother was Edward Pasquale’s first employee in 1917. Donna was born in 1902, in the Abruzzo region of Italy, on St. Patrick’s Day. She came to Canada when she was four. She always wore a four-leaf clover around her neck, so it seems appropriate to write about her in the March newsletter of our centennial year.
Donna worked in the store and kept the books. During the Second World War she helped with filling orders for the training camps, like Camp Borden and Royal Canadian Air Force Trenton.
Here she is at age 20 in 1922, holding my great-uncle Ted at his Christening. Below on the left, we have Nonie (as we referred to her) holding her three of her great-grandchildren in 1979. On the right, at age 80, she went on a trip to Jerusalem and was first in line to ride a camel.
One of my fondest memories of Nonie was when we visited her to say goodbye before leaving the next day for a family vacation to Prince Edward Island. She thought the trip sounded like fun and wanted to come along. So she did. In her mid-eighties, she spent weeks in the car driving from Toronto to PEI and back with her grand-daughter and four great-grandchildren.
Carnaroli Rice from Principato Di Lucedio
A favourite supplier of ours has similar pluck. Countess Rosetta Clara oversees the rice production at Principato Di Lucedio and attends trade shows across Europe.
The Abbey of Lucedio, located along the Via Francigena, was founded in 1123 by the Cistercian Monks. They started growing rice on the property in the 15th century. Several noble Italian families fought for the possession of Lucedio until it was annexed to the properties of Napoleon in the 19th century. The Abbey eventually became the property of the Marquis Giovanni Gozani di San Giorgio, the ancestor of the present owner, Countess Rosetta Clara Cavalli d’Olivola Salvadori di Wiesenhoff. Her rice makes an exquisite risotto.
1 ¾ c Principato di Lucedio Carnaroli rice
2 zucchini, sliced in rounds
1 small onion, finely chopped
½ c dry white wine
1+1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
5 cups stock, preferably homemade
1 tbsp butter
2+2 tbsp grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Heat broth and set aside. In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat oil over low-medium heat. Saute zucchini for a few minutes and remove to a dish. Add another tbsp of olive oil, onion and salt. Sauté until translucent. Add a spoonful of broth and then add the rice. Stir gently for a few minutes. Add the wine. Once the wine is evaporated, keep adding broth to cover the rice and stirring gently every minute or so. The risotto should be soft and creamy, the rice should remain al dente. Add back the zucchini. When fully cooked, stir in the butter and 2 tbsp cheese. Serve with additional grated cheese.